It is time to take a Look at my husband’s Peavler family. The Peavlers have been difficult to track, but it hasn’t been for lack of effort. I personally know researchers who were actively working on this line 20 and 30 years ago. Part of the difficulty is that Peavler is one of those names that has been spelled a ton of different ways – Peebler, Pevler, Peepler, Penler, etc. Some believe that Bibler, Biebler and other variations are members of the same family and some of them may well be.
The family was German and the immigrant might be the grandfather of this Lewis Peavler, also Lewis Peavler. However, many have found some earlier men with names similar to Peavler and believe that they might all be related.
In between grandfather and grandson, there was a third Lewis Peavler. Add to the fact that the Peavlers moved southwest from Frederick and Shenandoah Counties, Virginia to the 1800 frontier area where Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee meet, you can see why they are a challenge.
The only time I’ve written about any Peavler was when I shared the story of John Stufflebean, dying in the Civil War in 1864, and leaving his widow, Matilda M. Peavler and their young children. The family never recuperated from John’s death and Matilda, in particular, was never the same from what has been gleaned in records.
Matilda’s father was the third Lewis Peavler in the line just mentioned, but I am going to begin the Peavler story at the earliest point which I know.
The first mention I have found of a Lewis Peavler is Lewis Peebler/Piplar, who received 509 acres of land in 1766 in Frederick County, Virginia. This is the Lewis who is believed to have been born about 1730. At that time, Frederick County was quite large, encompassing was became Shenandoah County, plus several other modern Virginia counties.
Shenandoah County was formed in 1772, but was renamed Dunmore County from about 1772 to 1778, when it went back to its original name of Shenandoah County. In 1773, Lewis Pibler/Pidler is mentioned in Dunmore’s records, along with Christian and Abraham Pibler. It is believed that Christian and Abraham were sons of Lewis, but there is no proof. The supposition is that because the name was unusual and Abraham and Christian aren’t in Frederick County records, that they were sons of Lewis who came of age by 1775.
Lewis is mentioned in Shenandoah County land records in 1779. He apparently lived near the Little Hawksbill. By 1785, Lewis, Jacob, Francis and Christian Peavler are all mentioned in land records.
Additionally, John W. Wayland’s book, A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia (Strasburg, VA: Shenendoah Publishing House, 1927) provides a few more clues found in the early marriage records:
Francis Pevler and Mary Dence/Pence, 15 April 1783
Christian Pictler and Elizabeth Heston, 4 January 1784
Abraham Pideler and Barbara Horkman, 19 July 1791
George Woods and Susannah Pauler, 4 June 1793
Abraham Biedler and Anna Funkhouser, 16 April 1799
This is a great example of all the different ways Peavler has been spelled. Without seeing the original record, it is impossible to determine if Pictler and Piper are variations or not, but no others have been found in the area with those same spellings. Most Peavler researchers accept that they may well be Peavler marriages. The families involved were definitely German.
By the 1790s, Lewis Peavler resided in Rockingham County, Virginia. Rockingham was formed from Augusta County in 1778 so the Peavlers had begun their move along the Virginia ridge southwesterly towards the frontier area where Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee meet. Lewis Peavler supposedly died in Rockingham County about 1798, but I have nothing to support this statement.
Conjecture about this family – based on research begun in the early 20th century onwards – is about all there is to go on to determine a possible family configuration. Thus, we have:
Lewis Peavler, born c1730 and died c1798, probably Rockingham County, Virginia. His wife might have been Barbara. The 1801 Personal Property Tax List for Rockingham County, Virginia contains the names of Barbara Peebler and Jacob Peebler, which might be the source of Lewis’s wife’s name.
Christian, born c1756
Barbara, born c1758; married John Taylor, c1777
Jacob, born c1761
Frantz (Francis), born c1763
Lewis, born c1773; married Catherine. Some say she was Catherine Bull, c1799
Mary, born c1775; married Christian Keagy, 17 March 1794, Rockingham County, Virginia
Anna, born c1778; married John Hite, c1799
IF Christian is Lewis’s son and IF he was the first born child AND the family followed traditional German naming patterns, then this Lewis Peavler might be the son of a Christian Peavler. The pattern goes: first son named for father’s father, second son named for mother’s father. Then first daughter named for mother’s mother and second daughter named for father’s mother.
Are you rolling your eyes at all these ifs, maybes and circas? The same thing has been going on for decades among the Peavler researchers. Come back tomorrow for Lewis Peavler 2.
If any Peavler researchers are reading this, PLEASE leave a comment.